Who You Are vs Who You Want to Be

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This picture popped up somewhere on my Facebook feed several days ago, and I’ve been wracking my brain trying to figure out how to articulate what I feel about it. It sounds so simple to just love who you are, but in practice? Nope… not so much. I think a lot of it comes from the constant pressure of society to be ambitious and constantly better yourself, which isn’t a BAD thing per say, but I think a lot of people get lost in the shuffle. Trying so hard to be successful in terms of society, or living up to other’s expectations that some of the great parts which make people unique get left behind.

A good example of this would be my husband. Right after we got married, and had our first Little he was trying so hard to live up to my expectations that he abandon himself, his needs, his wants, and went full boar trying to provide for our family. Which worked for a while, until he became so fed up and frustrated that he just broke down which is where our relationship faltered there for a moment. It wasn’t anyone’s fault really, but a misunderstanding on each of us. Two different people from two entirely different worlds coming together and trying to figure it all out. His expectations of me were different that I realized and vice versa, each of us plodding along on our own path expecting the other to follow suit. It wasn’t anything that we did wrong, but our idealism that got in our way.

The same is true for people as individuals. Sometimes we get so caught up in who we WANT to be, or who we think we SHOULD be to fit into whatever mold or make society throws at us, we completely lose sight of who we are. I think that is one of the most unspoken human tragedies of our time. Losing so many beautiful souls to the idealism thrown at us everywhere we look, taught to us practically from birth. I’ve watched it happen on more than one occasion, and even been guilty of it myself.

Yet, it’s an ever so delicate balance. On the one hand you can completely abandon who you are to live up to society, or you can be so dead set in your idealism that it morphs beyond simple ambition into something far more sinister. The line between idealism and delusion is so incredibly thin and fragile. Like a trip wire really, because heading off too far in either direction will cause an explosion of emotional chaos.

2 thoughts on “Who You Are vs Who You Want to Be

  1. Great post!

    Have you read To Have or To Be by Erich Fromm, he explored a similar idea in it. When I read it a while ago it made me pause in the way that the quote made you pause and have beautifully expressed in your post.

    Thank you for sharing!

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